Hurricane Florence is increasing in strength and is now forecast to make a direct hit along the U.S. east coast in about 72 Hours.
Yet for reasons which defy common sense, the super-computers which run Models on such storms, just can't seem to figure out WHERE Florence will hit!
Look at these computer models and the unbelievable MESS of their "forecast:
The European Model
The U.S. Global Forecasting System (GFS)
Thankfully, most folks understand that where the eye comes ashore is not important because Hurricanes are so large, everywhere within 100 miles of landfall is going to suffer some serious effects.
The National Hurricane Center is clear insofar as this will be a MAJOR Hurricane, expected to be Category 4, with SUSTAINED WNDS OF 140 MPH. That's deadly.
Moreover, a storm of this size and power will bring with it enormous "STORM SURGE" for hundreds of miles outside the "eye." This STORM SURGE will bring water inland up to 20 FEET above normal high tide ! ! ! !
As a result of these forecasts, the states of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia have already declared states of emergency and have activated emergency operations centers.
EVERYONE in the states of SC, NC and VA should be preparing for this storm.
SPECIAL WARNING: Folks who live on the Outer Banks of North Carolina should have EVACUATION PLANS and be ready to get out fast.
Preparations should include making sure your vehicles are gassed-up and ready to go on short notice. Don't expect to find gasoline if you wait until a day before the storm arrives, because gas stations will be SOLD OUT.
Preparations should also include emergency food, water, medicines, flashlights and portable radios with spare batteries for each. If you have a generator for electrical outages, make certain you have spare fuel for it.
HERE'S A LIST:
Be sure to have the following handy:
DO NOT WAIT TO PREPARE because those who wait will find empty or closed gas stations, empty store shelves and no way to get supplies to keep you alive.
PREPARE RIGHT NOW. This storm will make landfall within 72 hours.
UNC-Wilmington has cancelled all classes for the week and are asking all students to voluntarily evacuate starting 12pm tomorrow
1. Florence will dump copious amounts of rain up and down the Appalachian Mts, especially the leeward sides where orthographic lifting is the greatest. I see 3-4 feet of rain a good possibility when the storm stalls. Areas just west of Lexington and Blacksburg in the deep mountain valleys Va will see huge amounts of rain. The James and Roanoke Rivers will be unrecognizable
2. Any coal dam impoundments will be history especially in W Va. All other dams better be on alert now. If you live downstream of a dam- better think about evacuation preparedness now. Time will be of the essence
3. I-81 and I-77 will be jammed to the hilt. Better fill up your cars now. The place to go right now is east of Knoxville on I-40 for evacuation.
4. Count on major bridges on the interstates and arterial roads to be clogged with debris, damaged or just plain flooded to the point of being closed.
5. Tornadoes will be a huge issue. I see more tornado warnings for this storm than the entire state of NC and Va has had over the past year.
6. Winds will cause record amount of trees to fall because of the saturated soils. Power failures will be measured by the weeks and months, not days.
7. Gas stations along I-81 will be out of gas as the storm stalls. Be prepared
People really don't understand how serious this situation is for inland areas. Flooding that will literally destroy big cities or at least significantly damage them. This is nothing to scoff about.
According to 12Z Euro- here are some places that can see devastating rains and flooding (20 inches+ in many of these areas). Wind damage is dangerous, but in hurricanes such as Sandy, Harvey, etc.. rains and surge were really the big stories.
Roanake Virginia- 100,000 People- latest ECMWF has 20+ inches of rain
Blacksburg, Virginia- 45,000 People- 20+ inches of rain on Euro
Charlottesville, Virginia- 46,000 People- 20+ inches possible
Danville, Virginia- 42,000 People
Lynchburg, Virginia- 80,000 People- 15-20 inches of rain possible
Greensboro, North Carolina- 291,000 people- up to 20 inches of rain
Winston Salem, NC- 250,000 People- also 15-20 inches of rain possible
Fayetville, NC- 208,000- 10-15 inches of rain
And most points east of these locations (Like Durham, Cape Hatteras, Jacksonville, Willmington, Virginia Beach, etc..) Will also probably have severe rains and devastating winds. Again, nothing to laugh at. Whether you're on the coast or inland.
Here is the 5:00 AM Satellite image for Florence; she's becoming a frightening beast: